This session saw the return of Crassius, the cleric (who had an apparently mute young girl he dubbed “Silent” in tow), but Trogar the dwarf was nowhere to found. The party fears he stole into Crossroads to rescue Dagodart when the gates closed behind him, but Dagodart escaped on his own and never saw the dwarf.
Suitably resupplied with torches, the party planned to make a mad dash across the plains on Gleep Wurp’s lands to the Pit of Kazum, an old dwarven mining city which has been taken over by the goblin king’s forces and is now a slave pit. At the beginning of the journey the party saw a line of 20 or so gas spores advancing in a line towards Crossroads. The party’s archers dismounted and managed to pick them all off before any got close enough to cause damage, although the long-range shooting depleted a lot of the party’s arrows.
The party now road at a breakneck pace, not even stopping to eat lunch (which almost certainly would not have been an option had the dwarf been present!). Towards the afternoon, a pair of wyverns* were visible overhead, out of range but clearly following the party. They sought a defensive position to stop for the night, and were lucky to find a small stream with a thin line of trees growing on both banks. It was here they camped. On the second watch, fires began to break out among the tree tops and it became clear that the wyverns had riders who were dropping fire pots.
The party moved their encampment and after some confusion as whether they would flee the area or stay in the cover of the woods, they moved to the other side of the stream and set a new campfire as a decoy. The wyvern riders dropped more firepots, and once the tree fires burned out, one landed to investigate. The party seized this opportunity to ambush the wyvern, and slew the rider although the wounded wyvern fled. The other wyvern rider also fled after a light spell was cast upon him, spoiling his night vision.
The party proceeded toward he Pit of Kazum, and met a half-eaten dwarf, who had escaped the “pit of death” with a terrible tale of lizardmen and troglyodytes who now rule the Pit of Kazum and seek human flesh for food. The party healed him as much as possible and he drew detailed maps, and estimated the numbers if inhabitants at 100 lizard men, 30 troglodytes, and 40 dwarf slaves. He also told them that a war party had been dispatched to gather human livestock. Ominously, he also described a pair of dwarven assassins who had been dispatched from the Pit with orders he did not know. The party considered their options.
- Seize on the somewhat depleted numbers of lizardfolk while the war party is away and raid the Pit?
- Pursue and destroy the war parties in detail before assaulting the pit?
- Play lizardman and goblin against one another?
The only thing they could agree on for the time being was that they should wait to see if Trogar could catch up with them before entering the Pit.
*Do you pronounce “wyvern” as “WHY-VERN” (long i) or “Wi-VERN” (short i)? I always said it with a long i. But I read a lot and end up with all kinds of idiosyncratic pronunciations, especially when it comes to D&D terms since I learned them while very young and among peers with no idea how to pronounce “druid,**” “scythe,***” etc. I ask because our newer player John pronounced it with a short i, and I tried to follow suit, but by the end of the session we were all saying “WHY-VERN” and we never explicitly discussed it. Anyway I am always intrigued by the different pronunciations that grow up in different gaming groups, although that was more a phenomena of younger players, I think.
**My brother always says it “DROOD” no matter how often I say it “DRU-ID.”
***SKYTH, SKiTH, SYTH, SiTH? I hear it all those ways but I think SYTH (long i) is more correct. Even so I pronounce “Scythian” as “Skithian,” but by analogy it should probably be Sithian, right?